This week’s parasha is the last portion in Sefer Bamidbar!
The parasha opens up summarizing the journeys of the Jewish people through the desert. Hashem commands Moshe Rabbeinu about the procedure of occupying the Land, and then expounds on the boundaries of Eretz Yisroel. Moshe Rabbeinu passes these commandments on to the nation. Hashem then tells Moshe Rabbeinu who will be taking over the various leadership positions: Yehoshua bin Nun and Elazar HaKohen will lead the people. Under them, each tribe will have its own nasi, its own leader.
The tribe of Levi does not get a portion in the Land; rather, they live in cities scattered throughout the rest of the nation so they can teach and help the people in their spiritual pursuits. In addition to these cities, the nation is also supposed to set up arei miklat, cities of refuge, for when people unintentionally murder and need a place to escape to.
The Land that each tribe is given is set by Hashem and should not be sold or given away from within the tribe. So if a girl from the tribe of Shimon marries a boy from the tribe of Zevulun, the land from her family can not be permanently given over to him as it belongs to the tribe of Shimon.
The parasha closes with the daughters of Tzelafchad (who we learned about earlier) following this command and marrying men from within their tribe of Menashe so that the land they received as their father’s inheritance does not leave the tribe.
With this, we say Chazak Chazak V’nischazeik! Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened! We have finished another book of the Torah!
It is not lost on anyone the “coincidence” of this week’s parasha with current events. As our brothers fight on the front lines for the safety of our family in the Holy Land, this week’s parasha comes to mind: boundaries, Jewish ownership of the land, and all that comes along with it.
While there are various opinions and ideas of what we’re supposed to do in these trying times, the most solid idea that I’ve heard in regard to making sure we’ll succeed, and that we’ll be able to continue to live in our land, is that every single one of us has to daven, to pray, to do Teshuvah (repent), and continue to do good deeds in the merit of the Jewish people as a whole.
Everybody is saying that Moshiach, the Messiah, is on our doorstep. I have no doubt that this is true, but there is only one way we’re going to be able to open the door and let him in: follow Hashem’s ways and listen to the words of the Torah. G-d willing, in the display of achdus, unity, and devoting ourselves to fulfilling Hashem’s will through Torah and Mitzvos, we will truly be able to usher in Moshiach bimheira b’yameinu, the Messiah, speedily in our days…. amein!